At a time when financial institutions are pulling back on their advertising, a new study from Nielsen IAG shows that consumer confidence in the long-term health of these companies is dramatically influenced by advertising and marketing efforts.
When asked about their own banks, insurance companies and investment firms, 55% of respondents who said they had seen more advertising for their financial institution reported having "complete confidence" in the financial health and soundness of their financial company and only 18% said they had "little or no confidence" in their company. However, among those who said they had seen less advertising, only 18% had "complete confidence" in their financial company and 45% said they had "little or no confidence" in their company. Overall, a minority of respondents said they had “Complete Confidence” in their financial institutions.
"This research shows that 'out of sight' can mean 'out of business,'" said Richard Khaleel, EVP of Nielsen IAG's Financial practice. "The current economic climate makes it more important than ever for financial institutions to bolster confidence among their clients and this study clearly demonstrates the link between advertising and confidence levels. With constant scrutiny on the industry it's clear that taking control of the message in advertising and press can make all the difference for a brand."
The study comes as data show year to year reductions in advertising expenditures in the financial services and insurance categories. Year over year ad spending on financial services and insurance was down 13.4% in 2008 compared to 2007. The drop off was even sharper (-23.3%) for the 4th Quarter of 2008 vs. the same period in 2007.
When asked what factors would increase confidence in the safety and soundness of their financial institution, respondents cited:
For more detail, download the complete press release.